The Loose Ends List

Paperback | May 9, 2017

byCarrie Firestone

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Now in paperback, the funny,"poignant and important"(Kirkus, starred review) novel about first loves, last wishes, and letting go.

Seventeen-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine is primed to spend the perfect summer with her best friends and beloved young-at-heart grandmother. But Maddie's plans change when Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret "death with dignity" cruise to leave the world on her own terms-and give the O'Neill clan a trip of dreams come true in the process.

Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family where she bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, glamorous destinations, and headiness of first love, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say goodbye in a whirlwind summer shaped by loss and love.

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From the Publisher

Now in paperback, the funny,"poignant and important"(Kirkus, starred review) novel about first loves, last wishes, and letting go.Seventeen-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine is primed to spend the perfect summer with her best friends and beloved young-at-heart grandmother. But Maddie's plans change when Gram announces that she is terminal...

Carrie Firestone is a former New York City high school teacher who now lives and writes in Connecticut.

other books by Carrie Firestone

The Unlikelies
The Unlikelies

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Als wir unendlich wurden
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Kobo ebook|Mar 23 2016

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see all books by Carrie Firestone
Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 0.68 inPublished:May 9, 2017Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316382833

ISBN - 13:9780316382830

Customer Reviews of The Loose Ends List


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Review from Giselle at Book Nerd Canada An Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change. Maddie's grandmother has a deadly cancer, so her last wish is to take the entire family on a cruise ship where she can celebrate her life. Maddie's family is living life to the fullest. Jet setting around the world, travelling from the ship to different countries, hiking in volcanoes, swimming in hot springs, eating gelato in Rome, the adventures are endless. But we all know there's going to be an ending, and Maddie herself isn't prepared to say good-bye to her beloved grandmother. Why would you say this to someone? WHY? head desk "Maybe you should try exercising once in your life." I had a bit of a problem with Maddie's bratty personality that I thought would change. What really bothered me was her view on other cultures foods. I don't like how condescending she is when she turns her nose at the Taiwan night market. Just because it's not food she likes doesn't mean it's not good. She clearly has something against Asian food.. "…pastries stuffed with bean paste (the worst dessert ever). They use the word Oriental which is not politically correct. I wished the author would do a little bit more research and be more accountable and respectful to other cultures. Her family isn't like any family I've read before. They swear at each other, talk openly about their private lives and know everything about their business. But I guess that's what makes them different. It was funny at times, but honestly I don't think the humour needed to be there since the drama was all there. I also had no idea why all these side characters were thrown in.. I liked that they had a bit of exposure, but I also thought it detracted attention from Maddie's story. Unless you count Maddie learning form every single one of these new people. I also thought that their romance was quick.. Two months and it's already I love yous? But okay I went with it.. I loved her family for they're a little kooky in their own way. I don't know how others will find the controversial method of having a cruise ship where people go to end their life, but if there was a thing, I'm sure there will be backlash. Don't be fooled by the cutesy cover for there are some heavy and depressing scenes to read. The writing is decent, but I found myself growing bored because some scenes would drag on and on and there was too many characters, I kept forgetting who was who and who was sick etc. I did love reading about the families adventures all over the world, and wished they did more. Travelling is a dream! Pick this one if you're looking for a huge focus on family relationships.. I did grow teary-eyes at certain parts, but that's because I love that her grandmother was just so positive.
Date published: 2016-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life Death is something I, thankfully, do not have a lot of experience with. I have not lost anyone close to me. I've been to funerals and have seen friends and family grieve. But for me, it's that emotion and thing I don't know how to handle very well. I'm awkward as hell and will probably be the asshole that laughs because I don't know what to with myself in this situation. In that way, I totally connected with and understood Maddie. Although she's more afraid of death. Maddie pretty much wants to pretend it doesn't happen. Which you know is kind of hard when her Grandmother books the family of what is essentially a death cruise. I think The Loose Ends List is going to be hit or miss for readers. Not only is death a very prominent subject throughout the story, it's also a book full of ridiculous characters and dark humour. Which the latter two or totally my things. And the whole death and dying thing is not as depressing as it could have been. There were tears and emotions, but I felt like Carrie Firestone kept it as light as possible and more about living life to the fullest. It's all about firsts and lasts. I liked that the focus wasn't the romance between Maddie and Enzo(even though I enjoyed their romance, their connection and where their relationship went) but on the family. And the O'Neil clan is an interesting bunch. There seem to be no boundaries between them, uncle, brother, parents, Gram, cousin; everyone's in each others business. Maddie will pretend she's put out by it, but in that's a lie, she loves how close they are in all their weirdness. Gram is the star of the show. What a women. She doesn't take any shit, she's hilarious and worldly, with stories from a full life. If nothing else, reading The Loose Ends List and meeting Gram was so worth it. Add in all the other guests on the ship, who are all full of personalities and stories Maddie comes to love too. This is a book for the character driven reader. The Loose Ends List is funny and emotional, with that spark of something different. I cannot wait to see what Firestone comes up with next.
Date published: 2016-06-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Heartbreakingly Impactful Read (with some humour on the side) I had some confused thoughts while reading The Loose Ends List. I wholly loved the idea of this book but the tone of the story in the first half didn't exactly suggest I take the issues at hand seriously. However, the second half of the book hit me hard and had me bawling. My eyes were leaking on its own (literally). The Loose Ends List made me laugh which was unexpected (with that synopsis). The jokes were funny but some came off as insensitive and sometimes even offensive. The sarcastic nature made me a little uncomfortable but I kind of get that that's reality. It's honest in a way that we know these people exist and people do think along those lines so why try to pass it off as anything but what it is? From the first moment I met Maddie I was surprised. She wasn't what I expected for sure. Maddie is rich and with that you get these cliché thoughts of hers that were rude and snobby. I wasn't a fan of hers until I saw how much she loved her family. The story showed me she was capable of caring for others and that redeemed her in my eyes. Some of her thoughts and actions made her kind and endearing. Her romance with Enzo was adorable but also bittersweet. He is totally her Bob Johns! I very much loved the relationships depicted between the characters especially with Maddie's family. It was the strongest thing going in this book for me. Maddie was very close with her family (with the exception of a few for good reasons). Each had their share of flaws and problems but nothing too severe that couldn't be worked through. Then there are the Wishwellians who have become such a tight-knit group through their journey on the waters together. The joy, the grief and the sorrow will forever tie them to each other. With the last third of this book my emotions were switched on high. What Maddie had with her grandma was so special. I loved every moment of their time together. On a personal note, I'm close with both my grandparents. It was devastating when I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to my grandfather. I would do anything to have had that chance (just a little bit more time with him) so I wouldn't hesitate if this chance came into my life. Even though some of the characters and the tone of this book bothered me at first, The Loose Ends List won me over by the end. I cannot emphasize enough how much I wish the premise of this book was real. I would make the most of the opportunity and always treasure the sweet sorrow.
Date published: 2016-06-10

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Editorial Reviews

"A sweet story of a young girl growing and learning about the depths that exist in everyone...Maddie is an accessible and relatable character."